High Density Outdoor Infill Mall

That’s a mouthful, but here’s an example: 

In Koreatown, you might miss this mall if you blink your eyes because it’s tucked into itself. Yet it’s multistory, high density commerce which is decently done. Not gonna win any architecture awards, but its rounded corners and architectural decoration are inviting. Plus, it even engages with the public sphere with some landscape and hardscape. This development is certainly emblematic of the Koreatown explosion. 

Marches Won’t Lead to Justice 

People marching in solidarity for a cause don’t create social justice. There are no targets with you at the march. When I was working in the state capital – in “the building” as insiders call it – legislative staff and I were safely in our offices, oblivious to the social change marches outside. In the same vein, press conferences without targets are just media bites. 

Two examples:


This march won’t lead to justice – how can it? Presidents present and past haven’t budged. 


A press conference to stop police brutality in front of LAPD Headquarters without a concrete plan of action is just symbolic.

Marches and press conferences like these also just preach to the choir. If you want change, you have to go to those who have power. 

LA Modernism’s Architecture Ruins

While tons of money was spent on renovating Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House, Modernist architect Schindler designed these outdoor spaces at the Barnsdall Art Park, which are now in ruins:  

1) Pergola – reflects his use of light, horizontal wood elements of his residential architecture. 


2) Wading Pool – he uses a similar textile block motif for the walls that Wright used elsewhere. 


3) At the other end is a semicircular bench which nicely defines the space. 


Unfortunately the site is now next to eyesore apartments. One can imagine what this space might have been like in the 1920s. 


Will the City invest in restoring these interesting pieces of landscape architectural history or let them crumble away? 

LA Metro – Sign of The City?

If you’re lucky enough to be near a line – like me – metro’s subway is great. Though a diverse and racial/ethnic and socioeconomic demographic uses the subway (and bus), it’s not surprising that mostly lower-income race/ethnic “minorities” take it. Without a car, we are stranded and rely on the subway (and buses) to make a living. Perhaps with the extension of the purple line, more Angelenos will be take the subway, but we know that the LA subway will never create a web of public transit in LA. The city is too large and too built up to have such a network. 
When my friend visited me from Brooklyn she was surprised by LA – she said, “wow, you guys have everything except for, you know, a city vibe.” Her comment got me to thinking as we drove on side streets from the airport of what made a city. The first thing that stood out to me was that LA doesn’t for the most part have an active, vibrant street life. Angelenos love their cars, and we also need them to survive. Perhaps if we lived close to work along a subway line then people would walk. But a successful subway would mean more people from all demographics taking it. Right now it just doesn’t have the density of the DC metro or any NYC or Tube, etc. And because LA is soooo huge it never will. I know, I know – the number crunchers will say we have one of the largest fleets, etc. but the point is that most people prefer to drive the long distances of LA.